We all have those characters. Maybe she was the first black girl you ever witnessed having actual lines on a sci-fi show. Maybe it was her presence that let you know that girls like you could exist in those worlds.
Often their roles are small but in the color-starved oasis of genre television, the appearance of such characters can feel life-affirming for marginalized viewers. These are the characters whose stories have meant the most to me and who I clung to during a rocky adolescence. Their images would be preserved in the stained glass windows of my black girl nerd temple if I had one. They’re kinda like my patron saints, I guess; like, to the point where I’ve mentally planned the black and white half-sleeve I’d get of them if I wasn’t afraid of needles, but that’s another story.